Friday, June 10, 2011

Game 64: Nats at Padres

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis faces Mat Latos tonight at Petco Park.
News flash: Stephen Strasburg was throwing off a mound at Petco Park earlier today, wearing a full Nationals uniform. Reality: The San Diego native merely took this opportunity to go home for a few days and throw a light bullpen session in front of Nats coaches and trainers.

Oh well, we'll just have to wait until September (or later) for Strasburg to officially be back pitching in a big-league game. Tonight, Jason Marquis starts for the Nationals, coming off his unusual outing in Arizona in which he pretty much dominated for five innings before getting ejected in the sixth after plunking Justin Upton in the ribs.

The Padres counter with Mat Latos, a tough, young right-hander who has been mighty tough on the Nationals in his brief career: 3-0, 1.93 ERA in three starts. Latos was born in Alexandria, and though he moved at a young age and grew up in Florida, he's still got close relatives in the D.C. area.

It'll be another late-night affair on the West Coast, but at least it's the weekend now. Enjoy the game and the conversation...

NATIONALS at PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 65 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (27-36)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
RF Jayson Werth
LF Laynce Nix
1B Michael Morse
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
3B Alex Cora
P Jason Marquis

PADRES (29-35)
CF Chris Denorfia
SS Jason Bartlett
RF Brad Hawpe
LF Ryan Ludwick
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Jorge Cantu
2B Logan Forsythe
C Rob Johnson
P Mat Latos

59 comments:

Grandstander said...

I look at the Padres lineup and go, "how can we lose this!?!"

Then I look at our lineup and go, "oh yeah..."

Hopefully Marquis can go deep in this one. We really need some stress off the bullpen tonight.

Unkyd said...

Good line-up.... Let's kIck some BUTZ!!!

SonnyG10 said...

That was funny, Grandstander. :)

Mark'd said...

Yep that's the lineup but substitute Zim for Cora

Anonymous said...

For the love... I need a W!

erocks33 said...

W

Tim said...

Mat Latos has been struggling a bit this year with his command. He needs to leave a few out over the plate. Maybe watch Bernie hit an insider-the-parker.

UNTERP.NAT said...

Do you really think it matters who the manager is with the Nationals? Really? I mean, really?

Please tell me whether or not Picasso ever painted with water colors, then I can tell you whether anybody in the position of manager since the Nationals inception can turn water into oil.

I'm not going to sit here and defend everything Riggleman does or doesn't do. To be sure he hasn't been painting with oil. The easy move is always to fire the manager, but before any firing goes down the Lerners and Rizzo and (MLB after they raped the Expos of anything of value) better look squarely in the mirror before disposing of a good man. Perhaps in my fanatic way I had entirely too great of expectations for this season (I expected the Nationals to win 79 games). And I've seen the historical statistics on Riggleman. What, you think Sparky Anderson could turn water into oil? How about Bobby Cox? Really, that's the answer. Please, I never seen in any sport any HOF manager make the hall of fame without HOF players. It's not all his fault or very little of it. A few of you told me on this board that no one will take me seriously because I was so negative. Well I'm telling you that you are all wrong. You need top check yourselves in the mirror too...

sjm308 said...

unterp (by the way, I really don't like that handle since I spent many wonderful years in college park trying to fool teachers and later athletes into thinking I knew something - maybe you are a North Carolina Terp). I appreciate your thoughts on Riggs since I also feel like letting him go will prove nothing. I have us down for 75 wins but the point is we can win more or less as long as we are playing hard and smart and I will be fine. I think Riggs has them doing that.

sjm308 said...

Oh, also, I posted a late thank you to natsfana1a and others on a previous article for setting me straight about certain posters - obviously, I can't help myself and am back reading comments (like anyone really cares)

go Nats

JaneB said...

UNTERP, thank you for this defense of Riggleman. Maybe we could declare a weekend free of comments about firing him? Just see how it feels (which I predict will be great). Three games. Whaddya say, all?

Tim, how fun would that be, for Bernie to get an inside-the-parker? I'm glad he is in tonight. In a few days, we will have Zimm back. ahhh!

Go Nats! Welcome,new baby reliever (whose name I've already forgotten). Gett us a big fat Curlie W!

Grandstander said...

How's that cozy inside corner now NoVA boy?

Holy cow did Morse turn on that one.

Drew8 said...

Michael Morse hacks the gorse!

JaneB said...

I am so so grateful for Michael Morse!

Unkyd said...

I love me some early-inning gorse hacking!!!!

Drew8 said...

William Wallace: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.

Young Soldier: But Michael Morse is seven feet tall!

William Wallace: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.

[Scottish army laughs]

Grandstander said...

And Bobby Carp blows it. Thanks dude!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Great play, Danny!

Drew8 said...

Grandstander said: Thanks dude!

"Let me explain something to you... I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing."

The Dude abides....

Grandstander said...

If baseball was the Big Lebowski, Bobby C would be the Dude's landlord. With the play, by the in and out burger.

Jayson Werth was safe by a mile. Crap call.

Mark'd said...

Jayson Werth channeling his best Nyjer on the bases.

Grandstander said...

Does anyone else hear that hotrod approaching the brick wall?

CBinDC said...

What is the insane need to leave Marquis in ????

Grandstander said...

I'm going to say this with all seriousness. Marquis closing out that inning was the best pitching performance I've seen all year. He totally lost control, and somehow managed to walk away. Those 2 outs were tremendous.

Now let's see if the BP can hold, because we all now if we win, it's going to be 2-1.

Mark'd said...

I was ready to pounce on Riggleman for not pulling Marquis. That was minimal damage but it shows you also how Riggleman has little faith in the bullpen.

Mark'd said...

3 innings to go and you have to wonder if Riggleman is having Clip go 2 innings.

Grandstander said...

I don't think there's a doubt Clipp needs to go 2. I think at the end of the night, that double-switch of Laynce Nix will screw us over. I'd bet $100 on it. No one could convince me of the need to put in Ankiel over Bernadina in center.

Mark'd said...

This bullpen can give you an ulcer.

Mark'd said...

Grandstander, had to double switch Nix or Espi to keep Clippard from not batting.

Mark'd said...

I know SteveM is twisting in his seat with the "no confidence" vote of the pen. Clippard has to pitch two and now won't be available Saturday. Riggleman has very few options.

CBinDC said...

Well Stairs flies out who would have thunk it ...so unexpected

Mark'd said...

Stairs swings at the first pitch. Another un-quality ABs.

Grandstander said...

Storen needs to be pulled right now. Send in Coffey and hope for the best. Storen is hurt or something.

Grandstander said...

I will gratefully eat my words. That was a sick 3rd strike pitch. WOW!

Anonymous said...

Grandstander, huh? Hundley looked like Stairs---LOST

FS said...

I have a question. Is Danny a team player? Do we get any sort of indication from his interviews, etc?

Can't exactly say nice win but glad we won.

Ribuld said...

All 2-1 wins are nice.

DL in VA said...

You know what's interesting about the comments on this board in the last 10 or whatever days?

No one seems to miss La Roche.

natsfan1a said...

Yay! A happy game results email. Then I come here and get to read about a Morse gorse-hacking and the Dude abiding and other good stuff. Is this a great game, or what?

p.s. Good to "see" you, sjm. (I can't help myself, either.)

JaneB said...

Good call, DL. I liked him, and don't miss him at all. Morse is the real deal. A HEALTHY LaRoche on first and Morse in the outfield means we'd sit either Bernie or Nix. We still need Nix's bat, and Bernie needs the playing time plus he is great on the bases. Maybe LaRoche gets his surgery, proves he can hit again, and we can see what's what then. But I am loving Morse. That is, till Zimm takes over at first. ;-)

Rabbit said...

Looking at the box score, it seems like Storen almost blew it. He gave up a hit and a walk! But then, I didn't watch or read about the game. Now I will.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Rabbit... I stayed up and watched Clip breeze through the 7th and decided if I wanted to get any sleep last night, I'd better not watch the 8th and 9th. ...... Best decision I've made in quite a while.

Steve M. said...

Yep, Storen started with an ugly 4 pitch walk of that Rizzo kid and then got a quick double play. Then gave up a single and then struck out Hundley looking on a 1-2 count.

My problem is that Riggleman had to use and burn out Clippard last night so he won't be available on Saturday.

You know, I am OK with it because I understand the rationale. It was a must win. Saturday the Nats may not have a lead in the 7th.

The bigger question is who beside Coffey as a situational guy, Clippard, and Storen will step up in this bullpen.

Mattheus is the new guy, Burnett is struggling, Stammen has been inconsistent, and HenRod is very inconsistent.

My guess is Mattheus will be thrown into the fire tonight.

Steve M. said...

DL in VA said... You know what's interesting about the comments on this board in the last 10 or whatever days?

No one seems to miss La Roche. June 11, 2011 3:25 AM


Who is LaRoche? If he comes back and is healthy it -could- be great news for a few reasons which I will discuss.

Michael Morse has to play every day during his smoking hot streak, and you hope everyone is smart enough to know this. You don't mess with this. No playing outfield during this hot streak. No days off unless he requests it.

So LaRoche can stay in the wings but Adam is signed for 2 years. The question is, will he need surgery. Do we know that? If he does, then it is end of story.

TimDz said...

Steve M:

There is a piece in the WAPO sports section that addresses this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/laroche-still-uncertain-about-return-from-shoulder-inury/2011/06/09/AGhVbiNH_story.html

Seems as if the two weeks of no baseball related activity did nothing and surgery seems inevitable.

This should have been done once the tear was diagnosed, IMO...then again, I am not a doctor...

masnstinks said...

You really have to think, that surgery or not, Adm LaRoche is not playing any baseball any time soon. This team is day to day, inning to inning, out to out.we're playing a combination of rookies, almost rookies and bench player type veterans at this point. The only players that are supposed to be the exceptions to that are LaRoche - dl, Zim - dl, and Werth - struggling with the change in team. It has been a nice surprise for me to see Desi, Danny, Ramos, Morse, Bernie, Storen, JZim start to put their own stamp on this team. And even though we cringe at line-ups of Hairston, Cora, Ankiel - they have helped us limp through when they ARE actually bench type players. Nix has been a nice surprise, also. Add to that some valiant pitching efforts, part of a great bullpen - the rest seems to be an on-going experiment - and there is some nice things happening - if you are not obsessed with the W-L record or the standings. Go Nats!

NatsJack in Florida said...

I feel pretty certain that we've seen the last of Adam LaRoche this season..... and TimDz.... even if you are the Dr., it's still the patients call and Adam said he wanted to ty rest. Two weeks ago or two weeks from now, he's still done for the season and back next spring.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

For what it is Worth. Werth was not tagged out on the pickoff. The throw beat himm, but Rizzo failed to tag him. However Laz Diaz decided to a great dramatic call at first.

TimDz said...

NatsJack: I do understand that it is the patients call, but I have to wonder if the employer (paying a rather hefty sum) has any say.

If I'm the Lerners and I invested 15 million in a player, I would want to have a say.

I do agree that LaRoche is done for the season, as surgery appears to be in the near future. On the bright side, it has given us a chance to see what Morse can do on the bag.

HHover said...

It wasn't pretty or relaxing to watch, but it was still great to see them win a close one.

On the injury front:

Hairston - if doesn't return this weekend, I wonder if we should expect him to go on the DL when Zim returns.

La Roche - we won't see him again this year. Best we can realistically hope is that he's healthy for next season.

Anonymous said...

Some comments were made about Storen being a little scary in the 9th -- those of you who remember Chief Chad -- that was scary. I don't think we have ever had a closer that didn't bend a little bit. I think it's more common for a closer to make you sweat a little than for it to go 1-2-3.Some of them even thrive on a little drama. I think he is doing remarkably well considering the fact that at the beginning of the season, he and Burnett were going to share the role situationally -- Storen grabbed that bull by the horns right quick and has looked very good - especially when you consider his age and experience.

Drew8 said...

It will be interesting to see what the Nats do with Marquis at the trade deadline. His two seasons have been such polar opposites -- 2-9 with the injury and 7-2 with the recovery.

(Just think -- he'd be 8-2 if Riggs didn't pull him in the laugher. Riggs was right. Just sayin...)

Anyway, neither season is reflective of Marquis' career. If you do a little ciphering and combine them his Nats tenure shakes out at 9-11 with a 4.92 ERA.

Marquis is a bit better than that, but not a whole lot. His career ERA is 4.51. At 32, I think he's more a slightly-above-.500 guy than a bonafide 15-game winner.

Given that we won't get a good draft pick if he walks in free agency, I'd be inclined to sell high before July 31. But I could be wrong.

What do you folks think?

Drew8 said...

Marquis P.S.

Shipping Broglio brought the Cards Lou Brock.

Larry Anderson brought the Stros Jeff Bagwell.

Doyle Alexander brought the Bravos John Smoltz.

We can always dream....

SonnyG10 said...

Wow, what a nice win last night! Man, did Morse ever turn on that homerun. This is one of those games where its a lot more fun to watch it a second time when you know the results.

Doc said...

There is no one in baseball that is driving a ball better than Mickey Morse.

I watched the video replay of his HR in PETCO about 500 times.

This is the guy that Ladson was found of quoting unnamed Nats sources as saying Morse had too long a swing, and couldn't hit name pitchers. Like Halladay, Lincecum, and Latos are a guys on the DL in the Gulf Coast League.

There's a reason that Ladson's sources are unnamed: They are afraid for anybody to find out that they don't know anything about hitting a baseball.

Mark'd said...

Doc, Morse's is not as long.

The Yankees want Marquis now and Rizzo wants Gardner. Doubt it will happen. How bad would it be without Marquis with Stammen as his replacement.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Mark'd.... not only that, except for yesterday, Marquis is the only guy the Nats score any runs for.

Anonymous said...

Based on what Ben Goessling has mostly left unsaid Riggleman isn't the main culprit. He is, however, a major contributor, if you listen to Boz and his commercials.

You have to at some point come around the realization that something odd is going on ... when you have a lineup that must include Stairs, Ankiel, and Cora with better options available both in ST and even now ...

For every good developmental jackpot (see FJB on Jordan Zimmermann, Goessling et al on Morse) there always seems to be some FO/manager decision that offsets that with an equal and opposite result.

I'm not sure how that is resolved other than the periodic Molotov cocktail heaved at Nats management by Boz. It just seems like the organization could and should be better run than it currently is ... but perhaps beggars can't be choosers. The really vast, day-and-night improvement to the farm system is really something to behold and it only promises to get even better with this recent draft.

Anonymous said...

This is the guy that Ladson was found of quoting unnamed Nats sources as saying Morse had too long a swing ...

He also tweeted that the Morse was in the doghouse on numerous occasions this season. Was it with elements of the FO or with Riggleman? Or both?

In any case he came out of a slump where he never came even close to hitting as poorly as Rick Ankiel, Hairston, Espinosa, Desmond, Bernadina, or Werth for that matter and now pretty much leads the club offensively.

Clearly there is something that is not hitting on all cylinders within Nats management.

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